The Comfort Spiral
“I’m a ball of comfort today… Warm shower, heater on in the car, I come into the office and there is a load of brownies tea and coffee, I am so unproductive right now…”
“I’ve got my chair fully reclined- I am supporting zero of my own body weight, its so warm in the office, ...Be right back I’m just about to go and melt some chocolate in warm milk…”
“the thought of my foot on a cold floor actually fills me with fear!”
Welcome to…. The comfort spiral…
What you witnessed above was an actual conversation with a highly qualified, usually highly motivated corporate employee who has fallen deep into the comfort spiral…. We’ve all been there…
Once in the comfort spiral your body will want to do whatever it takes to keep you there. It will, avoid anything that requires much concentration, that is difficult, challenging, energetic, uncomfortable and lead you to a warm, easy, low energy point of basic functioning…
Ok you’ve noticed where you are…thats the first step. Awareness. You are in the Comfort Spiral.. but you don’t have to stay here.
Your mind might want to stay here and be giving you all the reasons why you should… “I worked hard last week.. I had a late night last night… I did a big run a few days ago…. everyone else is doing it”….
Through all the cloud of reasoning to stay in this comfort spiral, can you hear the potentially very quiet voice of the ‘real’ you? “Come on, we are better than this… We’ve got stuff to do… we have a race to train for... is this the kind of partner you want to be?
The solution.. Get Present and take Tiny Actions.
What is the smallest action you could do right now that would better align you with the person that you want to be? Check in with your body, get into the here and now, look around the room, check in with your values.
Perhaps you could… Drink a glass of cold water? Stand up and stretch? 6 Deep breaths? Walk around the office? Look at a picture of something that motivates you? Get outside? Do 5 Air squats? Get creative! We are starting some positive momentum. But.. Most importantly.. be proactive…
Plan for it… It will happen.
Getting a plan dialled in that can help get you back on track before you get stuck into the comfort spiral is essential. Having a catalogue of Tiny Actions that quickly bring you back into the present moment and in line with your values and goals means you can act without having to think in the moment. Once we are in the comfort spiral having to then think of a plan to get out of it can be overwhelming.
Why Tiny Actions?
Set the bar low, get a small win and start that ball rolling. We want to create non-intimidating momentum. Quite often it might be the overwhelming thoughts of the massive things we ‘want, should or have’ to do that can trigger the comfort spiral. A great way of distracting ourselves from doing what matters….
Having a plan for when we will inevitably find ourselves in the comfort spiral is so important. Get creative, write a list on your phone, on a post it note, stick it on your desk, on your fridge, of tiny actions that you can do to create some positive momentum, to get you back on track.